Ibanez has gotten a lot of mileage out of its basic Soundgear design. The comfy, thin-necked instrument can be found in iterations spanning the price spectrum. Ibanez also frequently delivers excellent value, as the new SR780 demonstrates. Its 5-piece jatoba/bubinga neck, spalted maple sides, and oval abalone inlays give it a decidedly high-end look, despite its relatively low price. Additional features include Bartolini MK1 pickups and a 3- band EQ.
Electro-Harmonix Enigma Q Balls
With many features in common with the celebrated Lovetone Meatball envelope filter, the new Enigma offers the most versatility of any Electro-Harmonix filter yet. It offers extensive control over filter type, filter sweep, and a mix function. Of particular note are the included analog distortion and the expression pedal functionality, which allows for foot-control over filter sweep.
Rotosound Nexus Coated Strings
Rotosound is now offering a line of strings with a wear- and corrosion-resistant polymer coating. The black-colored coating is applied to a nickel alloy wrap, which Rotosound says preserves rich midrange tones with less high-frequency presence than a stainless set. The strings are available in .040, .060, .080, .100 and .045, .065, .085, .105 gauges with an optional .130 B string.
Key-bass cats should be excited by the new Alesis Miniak, which delivers three virtual analog oscillators, a sequencer, drum machine, arpeggiator, 40- band vocoder, stereo effects, and over 600 presets. One extra-cool feature: the filters, effects, and vocoder can be applied to an external signal (like a bass guitar), thanks to the q" input jack.
The Olympus LS-10 has been lauded here and elsewhere for its excellent form factor, intuitive interface, and hi-fi sound. The new LS-11 shares these good qualities in common with its predecessor but includes an expanded 8GB of memory, an improved interface, and an optional remote control. Olympus is also supplementing the release with a line of accessories, like stereo mics, a battery pack, protective silicone skin, and a windjammer.
Warwick Stuart Zender Signature
Former Jamiroquai bassist and current session heavyweight Stuart Zender had a big hand in the development of his first signature bass. Its body contour is unique in the Warwick line, and it features a two-piece ash body with flamed French ash top, a black oil finish, ovangkol neck, and Tigerstripe ebony fingerboard. Active MEC pickups and a 3-band MEC EQ round out the hot-looking axe.
Doctor Soul’s Cables
New custom-cable maker Doctor Soul’s offers extensive custom-control over its cable line. Customers can choose color, length, and plug type. Each Doctor Soul uses highquality Mogami cable and custom-spec Amphenol plugs. A rugged FLEXO-brand PET wrap improves resistance to chemical degradation and UV radiation.
Price Approx. $50–$100, depending on length